THURSDAY, September 06, 2007




Dear Members of the Western Dominican Lay Provincial Council,


I apologize for taking so long to reply to the documents sent by the Boise Lay Dominican Chapter. However, I've been caught up in health issues, both of my mother’s, and now, of my own.


After lengthy periods of prayer, the ideas below express my response.


1. As Dominicans working for Justice and Peace, we ARE preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus could be considered a radical, a liberal, in His culture too. When I think of the word “liberal,” I immediately connected to the word “liberate.” I checked the definition of the words "liberal" and "liberate" in Webster's New World Dictionary. "Liberal- 1. giving freely; generous, 2 more than enough or than might be expected; large 3. open to new ideas; broadminded; tolerant, 4 broad in range; not limited to one subject or field of study, 5 in favor of reform or progress in politics, religion, etc." "Liberate - to see free." Christ freely and generously, liberated, set people free, from sin and evil. Christ was also compassionate and went around doing good; preaching, teaching, healing, forgiving, and bringing people back from death to life. And, St. Dominic was also noted for his generous compassion, selling his books to give to the poor. As followers of St. Dominic, we are also called to compassion. I invite you to read, or, to reread the contents at which starts out "Since 1977, all the General Chapters of the Order have underlined the importance of the option for the poor, of the concern to promote justice and peace as an essential dimension of the gospel which lies at the heart of our life and preaching."


Along the same vein as the word, "liberal," Catholics are not limited to just abortion issues. We engage in the entire Paschal Mystery; the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Recall images of the Baby Jesus, Christ on the cross, and, the resurrected Christ. Can you picture Christ’s hands in those photos? Aren’t His hands extended out, as if to embrace the entire world and everything in it? As Christ’s disciples, we are challenged to extend our love and concern to all in all areas of life, from womb to tomb. We aren’t limited to abortion issues.


2. I refer to websites that I think are connected to our North American Dominican priorities. The organizations who maintain different websites may, or, may not be working on other issues.


3. Truth and Moral formation was mentioned in the document from the Idaho chapter. Paragraphs 1776 through 1802 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church address Moral Conscience. Which of the North American Dominican justice priorities do you consider immoral? My I remind you of the criteria for choosing the North American Dominican justice priorities as was published in Volume 13 Issue 1 of Christ in the World! (either CIW! July-Aug. 2001, or, Sept,-Oct. 2001). “a) there is a Dominican Family connection -- for example, we have Dominican sisters and friars in Iraq; b) the issue has to be timely -- for instance, we should not call a congressperson regarding a legislative bill that was already voted on; c) the issue has to be related to topics at the United Nations -- we have Dominican representatives at the UN, both in Geneva, Switzerland and in New York, d) the issues come from the grassroots -- for instance, we had a Dominican sister from Colombia who spoke about the conditions in Colombia, who recommended courses of action that we can take; e) the issue has to have a universal impact -- in other words, we can't choose an issue that pertains just to one country; it has to be applicable to all nations.”


I hope the above reply answers the core concerns of the document from the Dominican Laity Idaho Chapter.


Additionally, as a proud graduate of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, I invite you to take courses on Moral Theology, Biblical Studies, Christology, etc. at our Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA. Check for further information about courses and applications to enroll for classes. Study at DSPT can lead us to know Truth so that Truth can set us free, and set others free.


Sincerely in Christ, in St. Dominic, and in St. Catherine of Siena,


Joyce Calagos, O.P.L. M.Div. (Master of Divinity)

Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Class of 1994

Western Dominican Provincial Lay Promoter of Justice and Peace


Return to Social Justice page.

Return to Home page.